“Combining the benefits of positive touch with the creativity and fun of storytelling, Story Massage is based on ten very simple massage strokes that are used to illustrate words to a story,” Mary told me, adding that drawing a large circle could illustrate a sun or dancing, while a gentle squeeze on the shoulders could be a hungry caterpillar or kneading dough.
Suitable for all ages and abilities why, I ask, is story massage good for children?
“It increases engagement and concentration, helps communication, promotes relaxation and of course, encourages creativity and imagination. We love to hear from children and adults about how it has helped with sleeping, bereavement, transition, sibling rivalry, learning appropriate touch – the benefits are so varied depending on the individual. No oil is used and children don’t need to remove any clothes, so it can be done anywhere, anytime,” Mary explained, pointing out that it is also a ‘screen free’ activity.
A writer and massage therapist, Story Massage is the perfect combination for Mary, who has written several books on massage, especially about holistic techniques for children. Meeting her business partner Sandra Hooper seven years ago, thi e pair devised the Story Massage approach using ten basic strokes.
“We have now written a book Once upon a touch… story massage for children and run training courses for teachers, parents, therapists and anyone interested in sharing positive touch at home or in their work. We also have a popular online course and run in-house training days. We have been so delighted by the feedback about the benefits of Story Massage on so many different levels. It is a fun activity that can be easily learnt by anyone. You don’t need any experience.”
Guest practitioners at the award-winning Story Factory workshop in Arundel on 26 August, Mary and Sandra will embrace the workshop’s theme of Hip Hip Hooray! by teaching children different strokes to tell two massage stories.
“One is based on a birthday celebration and the other is a surprise! They will be able to take their stories home and share them with any of their family or friends. When we ran a session at a previous Story Factory workshop and many parents told us that they loved receiving a massage after the event. I also recently ran a session in Fishbourne School with Year 2 children on the theme of camping. Everyone joined in with the activity and the teacher was really impressed by the way it enabled the children to write some really creative massage stories.
“I love the whole concept of Story Factory and the way that it gives children the freedom to explore their own creativity through story, art and music. I am sure the day could be a springboard for the start of many children’s newfound love of creativity. Fantastic!”
For more information visit www.storymassage.co.uk. To book a place on the Story Factory workshop (age guide 6 – 13 years): katy@chichestercopywriter/01243 533421. Find StoryFactoryChichester on Facebook.